Speech by Ms Tokozile Xasa (MP) Minister of Sport and Recreation SA during the Budget Vote Debate 2018/2019 - Budget Vote No. 40, delivered at the Old Assembly Chambers - Cape Town

22 May 2018

Honourable Speaker/Chairperson
Cabinet colleagues present
Deputy Minister of Sport & Recreation, Honourable Gert Oosthuizen
Members of the Portfolio Committee on Sport & Recreation, led by
Honourable Ms Dlulane
Honourable Members of Parliament
Director-General of the Department, Mr Alec Moemi
Officials of the Department of Sport & Recreation
Chairpersons, President's and CEO's of the Sport and Recreation Entities
The Broader Sport and Recreation Fraternity
Invited guests and family
Members of the Media
Ladies & Gentlemen

THEME: “I CHOOSE TO BE ACTIVE”.

The advent of Democracy ushered in an era of hope for a South Africa for all. A platform for the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society. Led by our icon, Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, together with other leaders of the liberation movement who fought tirelessly and determined to use the power of Sport to change the long painful turbulent history colonialism and apartheid, whose ugly head continues to haunt us.

“For one to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others'' - Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

This leaves us with a deep seated message: - that after we have viewed the impact of affected chains on the lives of others, that never again may we be instrumental in driving policies which do not enhance and respect the freedom of others- particularly in our sporting landscape.

Presenting 2018/19 Sport and Recreation South Africa budget, 24 years later under President, Ramaphosa who brings in refreshed spirit of the New Dawn. He declared the year as centenary of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu.

Mandela used sport to provide dignity and hope in the face of apartheid sponsored oppression. Used sport to undermine discrimination with resistance, to heal and help unite society that the racial segregation of apartheid had brutally divided - A LONG WALK TO TAKE.
I stand on the shoulders of those giants who symbolize unity, reconciliation, human rights; South Africans who fought for a united Sport in South Africa, some departed - Steve Tshwete, Makhenkesi Stofile and many others. Included in the list is Sam Ramsamy who is still here and continues to serve SA Sport and our Country (a member of IOC and Board Member of SASCOC. The work they do in the country and in international bodies must continue to unite the country and the world. It must exert influence needed that the country and world can use sport as a tool to promote human rights, equity and inclusiveness never to regress.

Taking forward on the legacy left by them, to date, the department has achieved

  • four consecutive clean audits
  • 5th transformation report (EPG report) has just been released and the barometer shows a positive move in transformation
  • Netball Brutal Fruit Premier league has grown in leaps and bounds
  • The inaugural National Volleyball league was completed in March 2018 (the Western Cranes Champions are in the house)
  • The indigenous games festivals have been strengthened as a major sport and cultural event that celebrates our heritage.

The total budget for 2018/19 is R 1.091 billion having gone up only by R 24.1 million from the previous year's allocation which is a 2.19 percent growth.

  • The total allocation for Programmes 2 stands at R704.1 million, having gone up by R7,3 million from the previous year's allocation of R696.8 million. This constitutes a 1.05 percent budget growth from the previous year. This allocation is to support the provision of mass participation opportunities in sport and recreation.
  • The total allocation for Programme 3 stands a R79,8 million having gone up by R8,4 million from the previous year's allocation of R71,4 million. This constitutes a 10.53 percent budget growth from the previous year. This allocation is to support the development of elite athletes
  • The total allocation for Programme 4 stands at R158,1 million, having gone up by R8.5 million from the previous year's allocation of R 149,6 million. This constitutes a 5.38 percentage budget growth from the previous year. This allocation is to develop and support an integrated support system to enhance the delivery of sport.
  • The total allocation for Programme 5 stands at R13,8 million, having gone up by R1,8 million from the previous year's allocation of R12 million. This constitutes a 13.04 percent budget growth from the previous year. This allocation is to manage the provision of sport and recreation facilities.

RECREATION is as important as SPORT

Starting from Early Childhood Development - we are concerned with current state of obesity and being overweight in children, the future adults of this world, who are also an invaluable target market within the scope of our work. The prevalence of non-communicable diseases - stroke, cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, heart diseases - government and corporates are adversely affected. These require a change to physical active lifestyles.

R587.4 million of this is allocated to the provision of mass participation opportunities and recreation under the banner of our ACTIVE NATION programme. Deputy Minister will elaborate on the various programs. This is 54 percent of the entire budget channeled towards development.

With this small budget, there is not much we can do if we work alone. Serious partnerships are critical. We need to partner with private sector, integrate and align programs in order to enhance opportunities in a coordinated manner. Successful sporting countries have proven that focused support is much better than to support every code with limited resources that government has.

The Department in consultation with SASCOC will continue to prioritise Federations to ensure they are capacitated to deliver their programs and to deliver the sectors vision of an active and winning nation. In conversation with the Presidents Council ;-

  • We tasked them to do an in-depth assessment of their respective codes and see whether they represent codes that would afford opportunity for more participation by South Africans.
  • To assess the level of activity in each province and allow dominant and existing codes to be prioritized in Provinces, so as to have focus on development, infrastructure and enhance resources.
  • Develop a funding model proposal so that we can support each other when engaging private sector, there is a need for standardization of procedures.
  • Federations were urged to avoid court cases as the monies spent on these compromise implementation of key deliverables.
  • Governance issues are key in order to present credible organisations. Therefore, they should resolve leadership infighting
  • The Transformation report shows renewed sense of commitment but more can be done. All Federation have to participate in the EPG implementation plan and be vocal on matters contrary to the agenda of transformation.

SOLIDARITY

For example, we are facing a court case by Solidarity, claiming that what we do is unfair to those who have held privilege since the dawn of colonialism and apartheid. I have directed that we defend this case with all the might the STATE has. It may take a huge chunk of our budget, but it is so critical and of national importance in the sense that it can potentially reverse the gains of democracy for the underprivileged majority across the board.

IAAF MATTER

As Ministry and Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa we have engaged SASCOC and Athletics South Africa on the ongoing matter relating on the new eligibility Regulations for Female Classification for events from the 400m and 1500 meters of International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF). We have agreed that SASCOC's Medical Commission should meet to evaluate the evidence that IAAF has relied upon. That ASA should assemble a legal team to act based on advice of experts to lodge an appeal with IAAF and should this not be heeded, to proceed with the matter at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.

We call on all South Africans to support and give space to our Caster and we thank Professor Steve Cornelius for being a true South African by rejecting the unjust discriminatory, sexist and homophobic regulations designed to disadvantage Caster and any other upcoming African built athletes. We will keep track on the developments and utilize all available avenues working in consultation with all relevant stakeholders to ensure a favorable outcome of all affected athletes.

  • Women in sport is still minimal, lack support from relevant codes and with no sponsors, while doing so well. e.g. Netball, Banyana Banyana, Caster Semenya (general protection of athletes)
  • Mobilise individuals (private sector initiatives) and incorporate them and direct activities without gatekeeping.

KEY FOCUS AREAS FOR 2018/19

  • School Sport

School sport is the foundation of sport development. School sport will be prioritised to effectively transform the racial and class composition of the sport sector at a grass-root level. Integrating physical education and sport experiences into the school day will make sport accessible to all children who attend school (regardless of their physical ability, gender, socio-economic background.) Participation in school sport promotes healthy lifestyles and has the potential to inevitably reduce the health bill. Learners in sport are learners away from jail and drugs. Therefore, in this regard, I will be signing a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Basic Education in the next couple of weeks.

In this regard, school sport remains a very important vehicle for transformation and social cohesion. Through school sport communities and nations are able to unite and share in the glory that sport people achieve. School sport is generally recognised as the bedrock for talent identification. This therefore means that there has to be a healthy working relationship between the clubs, federations and school sport to ensure the development of identified talent.

This MOU forms a robust foundation of the successful transformation of sport in the country and brings in sustainability. Its proper coordination will assist to also channel all our interventions in focused areas and integrate efforts that will develop a clear talent pipeline of development in sport.

We are also targeting to solidify our cooperation with the Department of Social Development. We are targeting to have an MOU that will establish norms and standards of what model ECD centres should have with regard to sport and recreation infrastructure.

This will ensure that we contribute meaningfully to a playground environment indispensable to cognitive and gross motor skills development.

Other departments identified to strengthen cooperation with are SAPS, SANDF/ Defense and Military Veterans and Tourism.

  • Sport Development

Our mandate of a winning Nation, sees our sons and daughters flying our flag high in the country and international platforms.

We continue to provide support to talented athletes to achieve international success, through the ministerial bursary, scientific support interventions, operation Excellence and sport academies.

As we transform, we must never lose sight on being a winning nation, the two are not substitute rather they complement each other. I must therefore congratulate team South Africa on what they have done for our nation, indeed they were great ambassadors. In 2020 Tokyo, more focus will be on South Africa. In athletics the focus will be on Simbani, Caster, Luvo and Wayne. In swimming, Chad, Cameron, Tatjana and Henri.

In boxing, Hekkie Budler became the first South African boxer to hold three major world crowns simultaneously. These are living legends of our people, they are our role models.

Due consideration was given to the fact that many communities in rural areas do host tournaments wherein clubs play for prizes like a cow or a goat. Even though the tournaments take place they do not feed into or link with any structured sport development programme. Therefore, there is neither growth nor an exit platform for the athletes who may demonstrate potential and talent. This programme seeks to close this gap. The programme commenced with netball, rugby, football and athletics. Two Traditional Councils per Province formed part of the initial programme wherein the leagues started at club level within each Council with the top three winners from each code progressing to play winners from the other Council.

A federation is selected each year to receive intensive support.

  • In 2012 it was tennis
  • 2013 it was netball
  • 2014 it was basketball
  • 2015 it was boxing
  • 2016 it was hockey
  • 2017 it was volleyball
  • 2018 is going to be softball

With effect from this year, the programme will be extended to three more Traditional Councils per Province. It will be implemented through competitions held first within the same Traditional Council or farming community, and later between different Traditional Councils and farming Communities.

SUCCESSES OF THE PROGRAMME

I am proud to share with you some of the fruits of this programme. In the Eastern Cape Province, 14 year-old 100m and 200m athlete Bayanda Ncendani was scouted and offered a bursary by Dale College for further nurturing and 13 year-old Yolanda Nogubha has progressed to be a top female athlete, at provincial level after participating at the National Rural Sport Competitions. They both hail from Ebotwe Traditional Council.

In Mpumalanga Province seven girls from Guduza, under Mbuyane Traditinal Council, Maphanga Nomthandazo, Nkosi Mbali, Lubisi Nomawethu, Simelane Samantha, Makofane Nomonde, Khaliphe Charmaine and Ngwenya Amanda were selected to attend the National Traditonal Centre in Bloemfontein as a budding national player.

In Free State, football player, Karabo Mokoena from Bakwena Baha Monontsha Traditional Council has been identified by Sundowns Footbll Club School of Excellence to be part of the 2019 programme. These are just some of the highlights of good stories emerging from this programme.

Whilst we acknowledge progress made in terms of the implementation of the Rural Sport Development Programme, we have noted a need for improvement, particularly in terms of the involvement of District and Local Municipalities as well as private companies.

In the agreed approach at our MINMEC further ring-fencing of funds for infrastructure in the DORA will assist to also identify infrastructure in line with priority codes in Provinces, so that such can be developed. This then will afford the opportunity for those in school and those who are not schooling as part of the Rural Sport Development Program.

Yesterday, I went to Swellendam municipality here in the Western Cape to open a R7 million Railton Sports Ground facility. Since the inception of the ring-fencing municipal infrastructure grant, we have allocated funds to 64 municipalities, 30 in 2016/17, 34 in the 2017/18 and allocated funds for 30 in the current financial.

We will work closely with the Department of Cooperative Governance, SALGA, Provinces and Municipalities to maximize the use of the MIG earmarked to building sport facilities. We will formalize relations with COGTA as we continue to provide technical assistance to local authorities and managing sport facilities to ensure compliance with National norms and standards.

Provinces, as part of MINMEC have been tasked to develop a more comprehensive facilities audit that will assist our reprioritization in the new approach agreed upon at MINMEC. This will help to crowd in private sector support or partnership.

As part of the Department's efforts to revive the identified sports through the Federation Intensive Support programme, the leagues for netball, basketball, hockey and amateur boxing have continued to be hosted by the National Federations with the support of the Department. The impact of this initiative is evident in the general performance of the national teams notwithstanding the fact that the leagues are semi-professional. As part of the 2017 / 2018 programme the Department supported Volleyball South Africa in implementing the Inaugural Volleyball League held in Durban every weekend from 02 to 25 March 2018. The indoor matches were held at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Westville Campus and the beach volleyball matches were held at the New Beach (South Beach). A combined total of 188 female and male players participated in the Volleyball League.

Softball will be the recipient of this extra support in 2018/19. The plan is to establish a Softball League. The Basketball; Hockey and Volleyball leagues will continue to be supported during 2018/19 with the aim of making them self-sustainable in the near future. The other code that has also benefited apart from the aforesaid three, is Tennis. The 2018 Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League started on the 11th of May, at the Ellis Park Indoor Arena. Matches will be played every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for six weeks culminating into the finals to be held at the University of Pretoria. We urge South African to go and watch our girls go and compete for the number spot on 17 June 2018. I hope this league will assist our ranking to be from number to be in the top 3, both in the Common Wealth as well as the world.

As part of the programme of intensive support to Softball for the 2018 / 2019 financial year, the Department will be providing additional financial support of R10,000,000 to Softball South Africa. The Department will also provide additional technical support to Softball South Africa. This will enable Softball South Africa to establish a Softball Premier League wherein women' and men's teams from all provinces will participate. The Softball Premier League will take place over a four-week period.

In addition to the Premier League, Softball South Africa will be launching a Softball Regional League. The Provinces of Limpopo, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, North-West and Free State will participate in the Regional League, which will culminate into a Super Cup. The league will start at Provincial level and the top two teams will represent their Province in the National League. More than 83 teams will participate in leagues with over 1 245 Athletes of which 555 athletes are expected to be women. The league is scheduled to start in August 2018.

It is the Department's desire that these leagues be fully professional in the long term in line with the international trends. This goal will however continue to elude us for as long as sport remains under-resourced. I am therefore calling upon Corporate South Africa to join hands with us in supporting these initiatives and development of particularly sport that has historically not enjoyed much sponsorship support.

Volleyball, Football and Netball will be supported in 2018/19 to participate in the BRICS Games to be held in Durban or Johannesburg in 18-22 July this year. This is an intergovernmental collaboration to promote sport, amongst others, by the BRICS countries. We intend to host the BRICS Sport Council and finalise the BRICS Sport Charter that will allow rotation of the BRICS Games every four years.

Deputy Minister will outline the upcoming targeted countries for further bilateral relations. Working with SASCOC, we want to assess our participation and assist in creating more opportunities for our youth to participate and grow.

Africa is our target as part of Agenda 2063 and we will be hosting the COSAFA Cup in Polokwane from 27 May - 09 June 2018 and it is also the 3rd and last year of hosting the Regional Sport Awards.

CONCLUSION

Democratic governance in South Africa is premised on an ideology that shared and equitable social and economic development will create a better life for all; and that a focus on one aspect at the expense of the other will render all developmental intentions and interventions ineffective. Linkages between social and economic development policies and programmes that allow for integrated and holistic service delivery is mooted as the most effective way of meeting all the political, human, social and economic rights of the people. The dual role of sport, i.e. its social and economic development role, is firmly located within this ideological and development approach.

An overview of sport development in the past 22 years of democratic governance of the country, reveals many “quick win” achievements with primarily short term gains and benefits. Whilst these were important for the transition from apartheid to democratic governance, they are insufficient for building and harnessing the developmental approach to sport to the point where sustainable broad-based social and economic impact can be seen. This includes consolidating the momentum gained in the successful hosting of the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup and other international events prior to the World Cup Event. We want to bring back the lessons from the World Cup, bring back all critical role players to understand the mandate of Sport and Recreation and work together in collaboration. Make South Africa an active and winning Nation.

SRSA has many events happening throughout out the year and we need volunteers!

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